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Best dutch oven loaf ever

12/13/17 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Bread

For the past few weeks I've been making dutch oven loaves, which is essentially a quick and dirty loaf - a no-knead load without the no-kneading:

1) mix the dough -- start with 80% hydration, but ending up with 90% just to make sure I've got a soupy poulish

2) Into the mixer, and then wallop it in standard fashion until it clings to the paddle

3) One rise - in a bowl that's been filled with a fair bit of oil -- originally to keep from sticking but then I realized that bread impregnated with oil is GOOD.

4) Into the dutch oven - @ 500F for 15 minutes, with the lid closed, and then down to 350F for another 1/2 hour or so until I can't stand it and have to get it out of there.

5) actually I've taken to just shutting off the oven and leaving the bread to keep cooking / drying -- 90% hydration makes for a seriously WET bread.

ANYHOO-- tonight was a little different...

1) Mix ingredients -- 1kg flour, and 80% hydration - but leave it rest for a while until the liquid all gets absorbed. Stir by hand and slowly by hook - making sure it's all mixed in

2) SLOW mixing with paddle -- adding very little more water -- trying to keep it down, but with slow mixing, I still get it looking pretty mushy and integrated. Keep up the mixing but slowly -- it goes and goes --- I can see it tightening up, but not outrageously. After about 10 minutes or so, I increase the speed to get it to firm up.

3) Into the dutch oven for standard baking -- 15 minutes @ 500 and then back it off to 350. The result? AMAZING crust -- just amazingly crusty!

Oh - and I mistakenly grabbed the pepper flakes instead of the onion/ garlic bagel topping -- so it's this awesome hot bread! SCORE!

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